Q: Can an Employee Resign by E-mail?

An e-mail resignation letter is considered a functional equivalent of a resignation letter in printed or written form. This is because electronic documents have the legal effect, validity or enforceability as any other document or legal writing; provided that it maintains its integrity and reliability and it can be authenticated (Sec. 7 of the Electronic Commerce Act; Rule 3 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence).

Beyond the form, what is important is that the employee has voluntarily and knowingly dissociated himself from his or her employment due to personal reasons which cannot be sacrificed in favor of the exigency of the service (Virgen Shipping Corp. v. Barragui, G.R. No. 178127, April 16, 2009). In other words, the employee should not have been forced by the employer to resign.

Concomitantly, considering that the validity of resignations had been subject of various court cases, it would be prudent for employers to ask for resignation letters in printed or written form (notwithstanding the validity of resignation via e-mail). It is also highly recommended that the employee be made to appear before a Notary Public to take an oath or affirmation as to such resignation letter.

Note: Legal opinions provided in this blog take into consideration practical and commercial matters apart from what is strictly legal. Furthermore, they are based on general principles which do not necessarily apply to all cases. Considering that laws are interpreted always in the context of peculiar facts, it  would be best to engage the services of a lawyer for one’s particular needs.

For comments and questions, you may reach me at gideonvillarpena@gmail.com

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